Book Birthdays celebrate one year of a book’s life in tweets, reviews, and more. This month we’re saying Happy First Book Birthday to Loserville: How Professional Sports Remade Atlanta—and How Atlanta Remade Professional Sports (Nebraska, 2022) by Clayton Trutor.
About the Book:
In July 1975 the editors of the Atlanta Constitution ran a two-part series entitled “Loserville, U.S.A.” The provocatively titled series detailed the futility of Atlanta’s four professional sports teams in the decade following the 1966 arrival of its first two major league franchises, Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves and the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons. Two years later, the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association became the city’s third major professional sports franchise. In 1972 the National Hockey League granted the Flames expansion franchise to the city, making Atlanta the first southern city with teams in all four of the big leagues.
Loserville examines the pursuit, arrival, and response to professional sports in Atlanta during its first decade as a major league city (1966–75). It scrutinizes the origins of what remains the primary model for acquiring professional sports franchises: offers of municipal financing for new stadiums. Other Sunbelt cities like San Diego, Phoenix, and Tampa that aspired to big league stature adopted Atlanta’s approach. Like the teams in Atlanta, the franchises in these cities have had mixed results—both in terms of on-field success and financial stability.
A Word from the Author:
I’ve been flattered time and again by the response to Loserville over the past year. All of the kind reviews and opportunities to discuss the book on radio, on podcasts, and in print have been an honor. The response that has mattered most to me has come from individual readers, particularly those that lived in Atlanta during the 1960s and 1970s. My goal in writing the book was to present a time and a place with attention to all of its complexities. The notes I’ve received from people that said they could see a snapshot of their own life in my book mean the world to me. As a writer, I’m interested in stories from the relatively recent past that are just beginning to move out of view. My aspiration is to give such stories some new legs.
A Sports Collectors Digest Best Baseball Book of 2022
A Public Books Public Pick of 2022
“In this important and highly readable new history, Trutor chronicles the first decade of Atlanta’s big-league binge, showing how it set the template for sports-hungry cities in the decades to follow.” –Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“An excellent look at what professional sports can and can’t bring to a city, something noteworthy as more team owners look for publicly financed facilities.” – The Guy Who Reviews Sports Books
“It’s a brilliant look at the intricate ways sports and politics are intertwined” – Publisher’s Weekly
“Loserville is a well-researched and important contribution to sports history and the history of the Sun Belt.” – Journal of Southern History